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Thread: Glue for structural Beams

  1. #1

    Glue for structural Beams

    I picked up a gallon of Franklin Titebond II this weekend, was just now reading on the label and it says "not for structural or load-bearing applications". So that's out.
    I'm preparing to laminate some LVL beams to support a wood mezzanine in my shop. I would like something with a fairly long open time because I will be laminating 3 12' pieces per beam. My first thought was West Systems Epoxy with slow hardener but it's so doggone expensive as I will need to cover about 150' of surface area in total. What would you suggest?Thanks
    Wayne Webb
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  2. #2
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    There are guidelines for bolting them together, but Resourcinal resin or structural epoxy would be two adhesives that come to mind.

    Edit: It sounds like you may be making the beams, not laminating manufactured beams?

  3. #3
    I think there is at least one other type that that bears same type of warning. I would not hesitate to use them for your
    purpose. And I would not even get a quote for epoxy, "expensive" is all the info I need.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by joe milana View Post
    There are guidelines for bolting them together, but Resourcinal resin or structural epoxy would be two adhesives that come to mind.

    Edit: It sounds like you may be making the beams, not laminating manufactured beams?
    My local building supplies(Lowes. Home Depot, Townsends, Tatums etc) can only get them in 1.75'' thick. They look sort of like long pieces of plywood. To get the beam thickness I need for the span and strength needed is to laminate 3 of those together . They would end up being 5.25'' x 9.25'' x 12' long
    Wayne Webb
    Webb Signworks
    Chipley, FL

    Aspire 9.5
    Sign Wizard 6.0
    CorelDraw 2018 Suite
    DevFoam Pro
    Mach3
    Shopbot Router 4x8
    Ioline 24'' Plotter
    Mimaki 51'' Plotter
    Home-Built 10x7x4 CNC Hotwire Cutter
    Various Metalworking and Woodworking Machines

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Webb View Post
    To get the beam thickness I need for the span and strength needed is to laminate 3 of those together . They would end up being 5.25'' x 9.25'' x 12' long
    That must be some Godawful load for a 12' span!

  6. #6
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    Talk with a local building code department. My carport was built by someone who had little experience, no knowledge and was cutting corners. After I bought the house, when I reroofed, I noticed a lot of movement when I walked across the carport roof. I ended up retrussing it to local code with plywood gussets. I started out using an expensive resin based adhesive with nails but the building department told me that typical construction adhesive with nails would be sufficient. That was nearly 40 years ago, the roof is stable and still up, so I would check with the local department to see what they would recommend and accept.

    BTW, several years later I ended up installing a glue-lam header as the folks who built it used a doubled 2x8 header with one portion spliced in the middle of a 19' span and.....they used no glue. With 9" of snow on the roof, I measured a 1 3/8" sag in the middle of that 19' span. I purchased a 12 1/2" by 5" glue lam beam as recommended by a Boise-Cascade structural engineer. I ordered it from a local lumberyard not big box store.
    Last edited by Ken Fitzgerald; 12-09-2019 at 5:16 PM.
    Ken

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Webb View Post
    My local building supplies(Lowes. Home Depot, Townsends, Tatums etc) can only get them in 1.75'' thick. They look sort of like long pieces of plywood. To get the beam thickness I need for the span and strength needed is to laminate 3 of those together . They would end up being 5.25'' x 9.25'' x 12' long
    Could you sister them together with hardware? Pretty sure I've seen that either done or floated as an option in the past.

    Erik
    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

  8. #8
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    You almost surely need to bolt them together and there are engineering spec's to bolts and spacing and the number of them.
    You can use PL construction glue and nail them together to put the beams together but typically this needs to be followed by bolts.

  9. #9
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    Go to a real builders supply house. The home builders in your area buy their beams from someone.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mreza Salav View Post
    You almost surely need to bolt them together and there are engineering spec's to bolts and spacing and the number of them.
    You can use PL construction glue and nail them together to put the beams together but typically this needs to be followed by bolts.
    I second that- I wouldn’t trust adhesive alone.
    “Pay no attention to what you cannot control..” Epictetus, 100 A.D.
    It costs nothing to be kind to others

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Webb View Post
    My local building supplies(Lowes. Home Depot, Townsends, Tatums etc) can only get them in 1.75'' thick. They look sort of like long pieces of plywood. To get the beam thickness I need for the span and strength needed is to laminate 3 of those together . They would end up being 5.25'' x 9.25'' x 12' long

    You obviously got some engineering done on this. Ask about using a flitch plate with construction lumber. And as was said, must be a hell of a load over only 12'......
    If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.

  12. #12
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    Industry standard now in most places is to bolt them together with Fastenmaster type bolts or structural screws. Its done that way on construction sites all across the US. Unlikely that you need to glue them, and doubtful you would get a bond that would absolve you of a lawsuit should something go wrong.
    Company supplying the LVL's will spec fastening for multi-ply.

  13. #13
    When I replaced the improperly home made beam that the builder put in my garage, now workshop, with an LVL I went to the local professional building material supplier and they designed the beam and provided explicit instructions on how they should be laminated together and supported. I suggest you contact your supplier or the manufacturer of the LVL's you plan to use for proper instructions.
    Lee Schierer
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  14. #14
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    Wayne, each lvl manufacturer will have a published nailing schedule for parallel members. I would run several beads of construction adhesive between prior to nailing.
    Cheers
    Sean

  15. #15
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    I agree with Richard. Home Depot is not the right place to go for LVL’s. You might be able to call a small contractor and ask where they source their beams from. It might be ‘professionals only’, so you’ll need to get somebody to order for you, but it’s much better to get a spec’d LVL for the span instead of making something on your own.

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